It's always good healthy medicine to gather with your best girlfriends for a campout, even if it's not exactly real camping. My lady friends rented a tent cabin down at Coloma Resort right along the river, for a spontaneous girls' weekend. We had stayed there once before for our own little private mellow girls' camp for CarolAnn's bachelorette party, which was in May, which is pre-season.....different story this time around. The place was hopping, an organized village by the river, bursting at the seams; bustling with families, RVs, barbecues, face painting, music. We were kind of taken aback, but had lots of fun anyway.
We've been friends forever it seems, and it all keeps changing and growing. Marriages, break-ups, travels, romances, babies, moves...we will never leave each other behind. There are stories to tell for hours. Clockwise from the left, that's Suzanne, Rebecca, CarolAnn, me, Polly, Doniella, and Addie.
The sad truth is, with a nursling babe and a toddler at home, I couldn't stay long for the first night, the real girls' night. (and i missed the juiciest gossip and sex talk. pooh.) I did get to spend a few hours with the earliest arrivals, Doniella and Rebecca, who are party hostesses and planners extraordinaires, who bring everything good you could think of to eat or drink, who hand you a wine lemonade spritzer right when you arrive, open a bag of kettle chips, take you for a walk down to the river, hold your babe, and settle in for the juicy talk.
CarolAnn arrived a little later, complete with adorable tiny baby bump. Addie was right on her heels but by that time it was already an hour past Lucy's bedtime and I knew my mom would be getting tired. I had to hit the road (we all know how Polly does on the road at dusk...yep, it happened again and a fifteen minute drive home took a half hour.) But with plans to get together again the next day.
When you've known each other this long you get to know about the real deal, the stories behind the stories, the saddest heartbreaks, the wildest longings, the secret crushes, the motivations. Talking, laughing, hanging out, cooking, eating, sleeping: it doesn't matter what you do. you feel beautiful around your beautiful friends. They light something up inside you and infuse you with energy. That's why getting together as much as possible is necessary even when they live in different cities, even when they land full time jobs as professors, even though bay area traffic sucks, even if they're in school, or pregnant, or business owners.
I want my daughters to grow up knowing their mom's friends thoroughly. We talked about how there should be a word for it, a word like "aunties" but without the familial connotation, a word that just means the rad strong women surrounding a mom that help tote her babes around, that watch those babies grow, see them fuss and see them light up with bright smiles.
Another new mama in our group, Eva, stopped by with her sweet boy Rolla, just a couple weeks old. We immediately flocked and clucked of course, as little aunty banty hens tend to do. Talking breastfeeding, bonding, the big beautiful bombardment of new motherhood.
Back to our trusty tent cabin the next night, men, children and dogs welcome now, it was a free for all: we were located adjacent to a massive family reunion, a long line for ice cream, a surprisingly wonderful live band, and screaming summery children whipping by.
I was so relaxed, especially with such incredible playmates for Lucy around as Suzanne and Sylvan.
we got to the pool about five minutes before they closed it up for the night.
but that's okay because look at our view.
sylvan and tootie still got to rock out on the playground for a while. in between sliding with her bestie, lucy stayed busy checking out some tween-aged girls (up close and personal: she goes right up to them and peers into their faces and goes GIRL!) and commenting on their cool purple toenails.
caught up with some old friends too....tell me, how does 2005 feel like an eternity ago?!
by the way, me and these girls? we have experienced magic together. remind me sometime to tell you the story of June 22, 2000.
when you experience actual magic together, you know you will be friends forever. and also, that you can get as goofy, gross, wild, or ecstatic as you want around them because they've pretty much seen it all.
love you ladies.